Counterterrorism conference begins in the Philippines

The first ever conference on global counterterrorism and CBRNE threats in the Philippines began on Tuesday, according to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

The conference, which is called Counter Terrorism and CBRNe Protection 2014, is taking place on March 4-7 at the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City in Manila, Philippines. Col. Ramon Zagala said that senior security professionals from around the world are gathering to share their innovative solutions in countering the emerging threat of chemical and biological attack, Xinhua reports.

"The event is one of the biggest conferences of its kind and a multinational event designed to improve information sharing, knowledge, and networking among counter-terrorism and CBRNE professionals," Zagala said, according to Xinhua.

Zagala said the conference is meant to improve security networks in the country. He said it will also act as a platform for the Philippines to serve as a host nation to collaborate with international partners to improve threat awareness, learn new technologies and develop strategies for improved CBRNE defense.

Topics planned for the event include the terrorism network in the Philippines, mass decontamination, global counterterrorism and protecting the infrastructure of critical national information, Xinhua reports.

Speakers at the event include Paul Nelson, the deputy director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency's Building Partnership Capacity Department; Capt. Kenneth Peters, the chief of Southeast Asia Programs with the Building Partnership Capacity Department's Weapons of Mass Destruction Proliferation Prevention Program; Peter Leitner, the president of the Higgins Counterterrorism Research Center; and David Trudil, a senior consultant with the Battelle Memorial Institute.